Thursday, May 5, 2011
The Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA) has released a set of guidelines outlining the regulatory requirements necessary for the establishment of Islamic investment funds in Bermuda, designed to promote understanding, compliance and investment levels.
In line with Bermuda's efforts to promote itself as a domicile of choice for Islamic financial products, the publication of these new Guidance Notes is intended to demonstrate that the jurisdiction's regulatory framework is capable of accommodating the funds. Published on April 28, the Notes follow a BMA review of Bermuda's fund regulation regime, which found no impediment to the authorization of Islamic investment funds under the existing framework.
The Notes are, however, designed to offer guidance on compliance issues likely to face such funds. These include required disclosures, notification of material changes, and the role and responsibilities of the Shariah Supervisory Board, a body required under Islamic law to ensure such fund products conform to Islamic principles.
Commenting on the release, the BMA's CEO Jeremy Cox said that: "By issuing the Guidance Notes we are helping the market take advantage of this potential business opportunity for Bermuda, while ensuring the sector remains appropriately regulated. As Bermuda’s financial services regulator, the Authority is keen to ensure that this jurisdiction upholds the highest standards in regulation, while at the same time maintaining a regulatory environment that supports business growth and development. This development is a clear example of the Authority’s work in this regard".